Subsys®—the spray form of Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid—has been linked to hundreds of cases of death and hospitalization of individuals. As a painkiller, Subsys is 100 times more potent than morphine and has therefore proven useful in providing pain relief to terminal cancer patients. However, it has shockingly been prescribed regularly for off-label use in non-terminal patients who have no signs of cancer. A drug is prescribed “off-label” when it is offered to a patient for a use that is not explicitly approved by The Food & Drug Administration (FDA). To lessen the potential for addiction, overdose and other adverse events, the FDA requires that Subsys spray be prescribed via a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS.
COMMON SUBSYS SIDE EFFECTS
- SLOWED BREATHING
- SLOW HEART RATE
- MUSCLE STIFFNESS
- DIZZINESS & VISION PROBLEMS
- NAUSEA & VOMITING
- ITCHING & SWEATING
- HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (CONFUSION, ANXIETY, POUNDING IN THE NECK OR EARS)
THE UNETHICAL MARKETING OF SUBSYS
It is no secret that pharmaceutical salespeople often market drugs specifically for off-label use, offering doctors kickbacks for meeting with them or prescribing their products to patients. While this practice is surprisingly commonplace, it is incredibly unethical. Doctors should not be motivated by the prospect of being rewarded for prescribing one drug over another, especially when a drug has serious inherent risks. Reports have found that the drug’s manufacturer, Insys Therapeutics, has encouraged doctors to prescribe Subsys oral spray to patients who do not really need it. These prescriptions are issued despite the risk of death associated with the drug, which is directly written on its label. There have even been instances where the company helped patients who had no signs of cancer falsify cancer diagnoses in order to receive Subsys and thereby increase its sales. Opioid drugs are notorious for being incredibly addictive. As people were prescribed a Subsys for migraines or other conditions that do not necessitate such a powerful drug, they often became addicted to it. With the cost of a single package of Subsys ranging from $300 to $9,000, there was a lot of incentive for Insys in increasing their product’s reach, however unethically. These illegal and irresponsible practices helped Subsys sales soar to over $90 million in the third quarter of 2015 alone, which comes at the cost of hundreds of overdose deaths, lost loved ones, and shattered lives that could reasonably be attributed to the drug.
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT INJURIES RELATED TO SUBSYS FENTANYL SPRAY?
If you or a loved one have been affected by the Fentanyl Oral Spray, Subsys, we encourage you to consult with our team as soon as possible. With our extensive knowledge and expertise, you can rest assured that should you choose to work with us, you will have legal representation that you can trust. All initial consultations are free, and we don’t charge any up-front fees for representation. We handle all fees on a contingency basis, meaning that unless we’re successful, you don’t have to pay us. Please contact us at (405)510.0077 for a free consultation or request a case review here.